I watched the movie, “Lincoln,” for the second time last night.  I’m not much of a movie reviewer, but I’ll recommend this one as a must see for thinking people or fans who appreciate good film making.

I grew up with actors like Raymond Massey and Henry Fonda playing Lincoln…they didn’t even come close to Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance.  It’s a fact of Hollywood that they love English actors and it’s too bad that there isn’t an American actor who can play an American, but that’s a pet peeve since I learned that it used to be or may still be that  American actors can’t play a character in England if there is an English actor available and it seems like every character I see in America turns out to be English, Canadian, Australian or not American, although they play us well.  Anyway, it doesn’t matter in this case, because Day-Lewis is one of the great actors of our time and nobody else could have or would have gone to the depths of learning and becoming Lincoln as he has.  I looked up Lincoln’s walk and voice and read descriptions by the people who met and knew him.  Day-Lewis just morphs into a living Lincoln.

When I watch a movie at home, I have my iPad in my lap looking up questions I have about production, plot, actors, directors, or historical facts.  I can excuse some distortion or interpretation of facts for art’s sake, but not all.  It’s good when a film makes you want to know more.  That’s also what’s nice about having DVDs and DVRs so that you can stop and answer your question right when it hits you, if you want to.  I think this one is pretty close to accurate, at least on the questions I had.  Tad really did run rampant in the White House and Thaddeus Stevens really did have a relationship with his housekeeper, although there are different stories on that.

A funny side note was that I read a review of the movie where the reviewer said he was surprised at Lincoln’s humor.  I guess I thought everyone knew what a renowned storyteller Abe Lincoln was.  I grew up with a book that belonged to my great-grandmother, “Abe Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories,” published in 1901.  The copy we have is missing all the even numbered pages so she must have gotten a deal on a printer mess-up.  You still get some of the stories, the funny drawings and photos of all of the people who were around Lincoln.  And I learned at a young age what a beloved and complex person he was.


Anyway, this is just a great film.  The performances are terrific, especially Sally Field, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones, Tim Blake Nelson, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook…and the list goes on.  I should look up every name to give them all credit.  And the direction by Steven Spielberg, the cinematography, lighting, costumes…just the best.

You really feel like you are in that time and place, you feel like you are watching history unfold.  It’s entertaining, but, mostly, it’s enlightening.  Not fast paced action…just a disclaimer if that’s what you want to see.  Besides, you already know the ending…or should.

As movie reviews go, this was just my thoughts after being wowed by this film for the second time.  I can’t use stars or thumbs up since I’m not really a reviewer, so I’ll just give it a standing ovation!  Bravo!